This is a short story about how I *almost* bought an author’s book. But more importantly, it’s about how not to conduct business on social media. It’s not a big deal… there was no crisis, no insult, nothing dramatically eye-rolling. Just a simple matter of an unanswered tweet. But in a world where we’re all busy and overloaded – not to mention “sold to” every second of the day – that was all it took to lose the sale. Read the rest of the story and take a lesson from one Random Guy’s missed opportunity.
Sometimes social marketing really is a numbers game. You have to build a following before you can market to them! Short of buying followers (not something any smart marketer would recommend), how do you grow a meaningful following of people who would be interested in your products or services? Well, it takes work, but if you’re willing to do it, it’s not that difficult. It just takes a good starting point and a couple of tips and tools. Read my suggestions then let me know if you have any questions about growing YOUR following.
Twitter can be a challenge to navigate because on its surface it’s so simple and straightforward: post something with 140 characters or less and you’re done. But aren’t the simplest things often the most deceptively difficult to master? Here are some tips for getting people to pay attention to you long enough so that you can turn them into leads and even customers.
I’ve been on Twitter long enough to see many companies doing the same dumb things, and though I’m not the one measuring their ROI (hey, maybe it’s fantastic and I should eat my hat), I can tell you one thing with certainty: they’re not getting a dime of business from me! These are some of the things I’ve seen businesses do on Twitter so that if you’re thinking of taking your business there (or if you’re already there and wondering why nobody seems to be paying attention) then you’ll have some dos-and-don’ts to check against.
When someone first asked me about blocking people on Twitter, my first thought was, “Sure, go ahead. Whatever grows your corn!” “But how do you feel about it?” he insisted. And I realized that I didn’t feel a darn thing, because I had never given any thought to the topic. On further research, it turns out nobody else thinks about it much, either. Beyond the helpful “How To” guide, there isn’t a lot of guidance in this area. Here are some examples of situations in which blocking is ok plus a lot of gray area for you to think about when it comes to managing your online presence.
I used to get all excited when someone followed me on Twitter — particularly someone HUGE, like a celebrity or a full-on famous blogger. But then came the crash. On viewing the HUGE person’s Twitter page, I’d see the ridiculously large number of people they were already following, and I would crash. There is no possible way someone can really keep up with more than a couple-hundred followers. See, I’m still somewhat of a Twitter newb. And still working out how to best use Twitter. Here’s what I learned about followers, following, ratios and the idea of “real conversation”.
The question has been following me around for a while and it gets debated, tested and debated again right in my own office. Maybe you’ve even tried automating your own Twitter processes. The reality is that we marketers and business people are busy. Some days we don’t have five minutes let alone several hours to find, build, nurture and maintain online relationships. So I wondered: is buying a few followers really that bad? Are auto DMs (direct messages) the kiss of social death? Is there a place for automation or does Twitter and social marketing not only imply but demand our devoted attention? As you might have guessed, I have an opinion. But better than that, I have experience – on both sides of the social table as a marketer and a consumer – to back it up.
I’m going to share with you how I used Twitter to go from a well-paying government day job to a far more rewarding full-time career as an author of science fiction/fantasy and thriller novels. When I started I had no experience with marketing or publishing. You don’t have to be Wile E. Coyote, Supergenius to use Twitter to move your business forward. But it takes time, perseverance, some tools, and an unwavering focus on other people.
Social media has changed the landscape of relationships and put us in easy, instantaneous contact not just with customers and prospects, but with people we’d never have met or engaged with otherwise. This increases our circle of influence exponentially and puts a significant demand on our time and energy.
It’s been a while since I drew on my mother’s complaints (wisdom) for a blog but in light of recent developments in the social media world and the debate over whether Google+ will kill/steal market share from Twitter and/or Facebook, it seems like a good time to revisit at least one of those social networks.